Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will try to avoid their sixth consecutive loss on Sunday, while Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will try to rebound at home after two straight losses on the road.
The Redskins have found some success with RGIII and the zone-read offense, but they've struggled when playing the better teams in the league. They have wins against the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they've come up short against the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons. RGIII hangs in the middle of the league in passing, with 1,778 yards and a 97.3 rating, but his legs make him a potent threat. Carolina is giving up an average of 114.4 yards on the ground, so they're likely to see some moves from Griffin.
Of Carolina's six losses, only one was by a margin greater than a touchdown. That's been immensely frustrating for second-year quarterback Cam Newton, who faces a louder and more urgent series of questions with each loss. The defense was unable to stop Jay Cutler and the Bears on a late drive that set up the game-winning field goal, but an equal share of the blame for the loss rests with Newton. He had two interceptions and no touchdowns on the day, and has a total of five TDs and eight picks on the season. Griffin presents a completely different challenge for the Panthers' defense, and Newton will have to show his best form to keep up.
Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
Television Coverage: FOX (WCCB 11 Carolina, WTTG-5 Washington)
Odds: Washington favored by 3.5 points